Last word about Safety on modelforums:
Model be alert! It cannot be said often enough: be careful out there!
Photo-model-platforms are ideal for establishing contacts, building a portfolio or for finding (paid) jobs.
But of course it is not without risk and it cannot be said often enough; as a model you have to double check a photographer, ask for references.
A certain degree of safety must be there for you to just meet somewhere in a studio or outdoors. It is always wise to take someone with you or at least inform someone in your area about the appointment.
Detailed information on safety and risks is provided in most forums. Even though there are no real names, you can always check contacts or references from the past shoots.
There are also the necessary risks for a photographer and it is wise to check a model. Of course you don't want to book a model that doesn't show up. Or even worse: missing expensive cameras or stiff afterwards. Check the model if there are any bad references. Also take a look around on the internet. How does she behave with the pictures?
Talk about your expectations and be sure you can trust each other.
Again: be well prepared and safe!
How to deal with criticism?
Most modelforums also have a system where photos are assessed.
Some modelforums offers the opportunity to like, comment or save photos in galleries, the others forum are offering complete contests that give a photographer or the model in question great credit when they win it.
It is very good for a model and a photographer to learn from each other in this way. You learn to judge photos technically or to see what the taste of the general public is. However, it is sometimes a bit of a blow when comments (or exchanges occur in comments) or when the contests are taken too seriously by the participants.
It is also often too much of a good thing, for a starting photographer or model, to have to meet the towering quality that the experienced photographers or retouchers deliver. It can have a demotivating effect and deprive the fun of a fun photo shoot if a photo is judged on the basis of (the absence of) criticisms because the person in question does not participate in the crazy madness. But of course it remains up to you as a model to choose whether you will participate in each other with compliments or comments and to what extent you want to be criticized. You can often turn this off and just do your own thing ....
Tone of voice
Also think about your own tone of voice. How do you give criticism, substantive or superficial? Be friendly, polite and do not comment if it is not necessary. You get what you give. Be an example of how it should be done.
If you think a photo is bad, you don't have to say this. Saying nothing often says enough. Always give constructive criticism that benefits someone else. Good, cool, super, top, bold, cool, are nice expressions, but what do you like about the photo? The model, the light, the setting, the concept, the colors, the sharpness? Try to say something substantive.
As soon as you give substantive criticism, you will also get it back. That is also educational and has more to offer. Better a few good criticisms that will help you forwards, than hundreds of hearts which does not say anything at all.
Learn, learn, learn. Modelforums are ideal to learn to from others!
Modelforums, like Modelmayhem, are offering daily contests. Be sure if you upload a picture, it will be there forever. If you for some reason, afterwards regret, there is always a possibility to ask a moderator to delete the photo, but do not assume that this will work.
The quality of the competition, is often very high. So really think three times before you upload a photo. To appear at the bottom of the list is not so nice. Also be suspicious that there may also be negative comments.
Are you a starting model? Focus on your own profile, look carefully at other profiles, but do not stare blindly at the best of the best.
But if you have a VERY beautiful photo: the contest is a good medium to put yourself in the spotlight. And if you are a winner, this is of course fantastic for your brand awareness and portfolio.
Make a note of your 'awards', these are, after all, a great honor and a big deal for your portfolio and curriculum vitae!
Yes! I got hundreds of pictures to show the world....
No, unfortunately most modelforums are not portfolio websites....
Modelforums offer limited possibilities to show your portfolio. You can create a nice page and use this as a second business card, but of course it never has the possibilities your own website offers. Still, it is great to show the world an excellent impression of what you have gained in the past, how your looks and how talented you are.
It is also very nice for the model to get an impression about the photographer. His style, his genre and last but not least: his talents! Is he experienced or a beginner? Are his pictures technical perfect or are they not thát good....
On the basis of the references you can often see whether a photographer is also friendly to deal with. Or perhaps is been very loved by many and he even has a waiting list. Not everything is free or based on TFP. Photographers also often show their rates-list. Especially the professional photographers are sometimes showing their rates to avoid endless discussions about TFP or negotiation.
Most modelforums are offerinf also the possibility to link to your website and many social media.
In my list (next posts) I have mentioned Artfolio and Musecube. This is because these are actually portfolio websites but there is also a possibility of communication with photographers and other disciplines within the modeling world. Moreover, they distinguish themselves from other website builders because they really focus specifically on the world of models and photographers. Their templates offer everything to build beautiful portfolio websites.
I love Artfolio, it is cheap, it is very easy to create a portfolio and it is a great way to show yourself to the world.
Information and sharing:
Modelforums often offer a lot of extra information for models through blogs or special pages. For example, Model Mayhem has a separate page “Model Mayhem EDU”.
This "education" focuses on meaningful and good information provision. Models write about their experiences, they share golden tips or advice for beginners. There are also many interesting subjects to be found for photographers who are also well written and of a high standard. On the forums you can communicate with each other about current topics, smal talks or problems.
Next blog: Modelforums: criticism and contests
Be aware, be smart:
Photo-model-platforms (we name it: 'modelforums') such as Modelkartei, for example, offer the possibility of having an 'authenticity' check done by showing an ID proof. This allows you as a model to assume that the photographer really is the photographer as he claims to be.
It is also nice for a photographer to be able to trust the model in terms of age and, for example, name or agency.
On other forums it is precisely the anonymous that appeals to the model or the photographer. Names are often aliases and people for example dare to show erotic photos that remain anonymous and are not linked to the real name of the model or photographer. There is also often a possibility to 'shield' photos so that they do not pop up in Google images or under the names of the person in question.
So it is just what you want as a model (or photographer); to what extent you want to be anonymous, or recognizable by name and by name.
Forums are of course never liable for abuses and therefore often warn you to use common sense and to be careful. For a model, almost all forums offer the possibility to check the photographer in question on the basis of references. In most forums there is a possibility to leave a review after the photo shoot about the shoot, about the model or about the photographer.
In some forums this is fairly limited, in others extensive and thorough. Model-forums such as Modelkartei and Modelmayhem also offer standard contracts that you can review in advance with a photographer and sign both. This also often contains rights and obligations with regard to the photos that are taken and the publications that are made with them.
If you start modeling, look around carefully on modelforums. And if you are talking or negotiating with a photographer to plan a fotoshoot: CHECK REFERENCES.
Modelforums are a great tool to meet the best photographers in town or worldwide. Think, on forehand, what you want to be: your own-self, or anonymous because of your work, family or private life. And if you are a few steps further in time and are meeting photographers for fotoshoots: Be smart and: SAFETY first.
What is a 'modelforum'? - serie 1.
We have a list of photography-models-forums and communities on the Internet. Actually, these are also for photographers, editors, make-up artists, model agencies and model-coaches.
First some more text and explanation. It is wise to read this carefully before you start to create a profile on a forum. Choose a platform that suits you in terms of size (a large worldwide forum or a nationally smaller and more personal forum), in terms of security (anonymous or ID check) and in terms of categories (do you focus more on fashion or art?). Tips and advises!
What are photography-model-platforms? (let's say 'model-forums')
Modelformus are communities where models show their portfolio (from a few photos to hundreds of photos) and thus can present and promote themselves. Models can also respond to requests (jobs) or arrange a photo shoot themselves. Photographers present their work and can offer photo shoots or TFP-shoots (time for print). There are also often portfolios of make-up artists, stylists, photo editors or retouchers active on platforms. In some communities there are also model agencies active who are looking for specific models or represent specific models. The emphasis of all communities is primarily on the specific area of interest and the ability to make contacts.
What does a membership or 'membership' cost?
Photo model platforms often charge a fee for using the platform that varies from free or a few euros per month to 250 euros per year. The free accounts on these sites are often limited in terms of possibilities and do not offer optimal means of communication. On free websites there is often a very limited possibility of uploading photos. As soon as you upgrade to a higher account and become a paid member, you will have the opportunity to show your photos in a better way. In some forums, the free accounts are limited to "watch at a distance". As a fashion model, it is of little use to you because even the photographers cannot approach you. Don't think that you can outsmart the platforms just by entering your website or email address; the platforms are really focused on attracting you as a paying customer and do everything to it.
As you do more upgrades you get more and more opportunities to present yourself and communicate with others. For example, on a global platform like Modelmayhem you are a lot better off if you have a VIP account compared to a free membership.
So it is just how much time you are going to spend on a photo-modeling platform and whether you are going to score paid jobs / photoshoots, for example. In the best case, the membership pays for itself.
If you are a starter, keep it simple. You first need to grow a portfolio and to focus on contact with photographers. A basic membership would work for you at this point. If your portfolio keeps growing, and you have fun, it is a good idea to get upgrades!
next series: safety, tips and tricks
Tips & tricks to traveling light and all about: over-staying or hosting.
What to do when you are booked in an other city or country? Do you travel early in the morning or leave the day before? Always be on time!
Read all about 'over-staying', 'hosting' and how to travel as light as possible...
What is your action plan? Have you thought carefully and thoroughly about your plan in advance about your plan to become a model? Or is it just a vague dream and not really a well thought out plan?
Start putting your plan on paper. This is easy for yourself, to get your thoughts straight, but also for future contact with potential agencies or photographers.
I have experienced it easily and have prepared a few questions that you can think about. These questions are useful in practice.
Marga van der Vet is a model, blogger and content specialist. But mostly she is just a woman; living and loving her family, dog and horses. She lives on the countryside of the Netherlands and 'models' mainly in Europe.